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Interesting conversations with interesting people
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Interesting conversations with interesting people

Author: Spencer Lane

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The Spencer Lane podcast brings interesting conversations with interesting people across business, marketing, thought leadership and career based topics. In conversation with our guests, we will find out about their careers to date, what drives them, the journey that they’ve walked to get where they are and what they’ve learnt along the way. Depending on the topic our guests will also give practical advice to help others in the same space. Hosted by Emma Graham & Ez Khan.
53 Episodes
Why Use Automation?

Why Use Automation?


We're joined by the amazing team at Bullhorn to discuss their awesome automation tool Herefish (a Bullhorn Product). Herefish is a tool that we implemented in early 2021 and we’re already seeing huge benefits! We send all of our comms through this tool and have been able to automatically update and code over 500 contacts in a day. We are also able to track website traffic and get alerted to who is checking out our jobs page, allowing us to target our outreach. Pretty amazing stuff right!We hope you enjoy this episode! 
We're joined by Laura Hopes, co-founder of Hume Scope and Managing Director of Hopes Consult. Both businesses focus on learning & development of Recruitment professionals. Between Laura & Ez, they're trained over 250 Consultants in the past 12 Months. In this episode, they go through tips on how to train your rookies. For more info on their rookie recruiter course, head to 
In this week's episode, Ez chats with the awesome Hishem Azzous about how to launch a podcast, the benefits, and the dos and dont's. Hishem is a seasoned podcaster, and in his own podcast series titled The Recruitment Mentors Podcast, Hishem deconstructs how the best recruitment professionals around the world have accelerated their career and remained at the top of their game. As well as this Hishem recently launched recruitment mentors. A dedicated learning & development community exclusive to recruitment consultants.  Connect with Hishel here: and Ez here:
Data hygiene

Data hygiene


On today’s episode, we are thrilled to catch up with the Aaron Mcintosh, who is the Solution Consulting Leader and General Manager APAC at Bullhorn. Ez has always had a strong focus on data hygiene and today Aaron gives his insider knowledge and expertise on how to manage, clean-up and effectively utilise your agency’s database.  
In this episode, Ez chats to the insightful Rod Hore from HHMC Global. Rod and his team advise Recruitment Agency owners and managers on growth and equity strategies, execute buy/sell transactions involving private, listed and international organisations. With over 21 years of market knowledge, Rod talks with Ez today about starting up your own recruitment agency. 
We sit down with Amy Jacobson, an Emotional Intelligence and Human Behaviour Expert, to discuss how and why emotional intelligence plays such a huge part in affective leadership in recruitment.   
We sit down with Amy Jacobson, an Emotional Intelligence and Human Behaviour Expert, to discuss how and why emotional intelligence plays such a huge part in effective leadership in recruitment.   
Viv Gibson-Thomas is a brand strategy consultant who has spent her career exploring the intersection of creativity and business. Viv spent the first half of her career as a creative at advertising agencies in Australia and New York, working at large multinationals and independent shops. With both copywriting and strategic experience, Viv has created countless strategies for brands from every sector of society and picked up multiple industry awards along the way. One of the main questions Viv has wanted to answer for herself is how do you bring together left-brain and right-brain thinking, how do you utilise both analytical and creative thinking? We talk about how this played out for Viv initially in her choices of subject at school and then in the world of Advertising Agencies. Then talking more specifically about brand and brand strategy, what does it mean and how does she approach it? We talk about what ‘good strategy’ looks like, some examples of it, what happens when it goes off the rails and what might be some of the reasons for that.  We also talk through the types of problems that brand strategy can be used to solve for businesses and the benefits of it. Finally, Viv gives her advice for someone starting their career in the same space.
In this episode, Emma is joined by Jane Levin. Jane is a content specialist, researcher, copywriter, editor and producer with more than 20 years’ experience, who has built a successful career utilising both part-time and freelance work.The desire (from employees) for part-time work seems ever more popular and as yet doesn’t seem to be reflected in the availability of part-time roles. So how do you set about achieving your goal of part-time? Jane has worked in a freelance capacity, working directly for clients she reached out to herself and found what for many, is the holy grail, a permanent, part-time role. The main thing that stands out from our discussion, is that she had a strategy. She knew what she wanted to achieve and worked out the steps it would take to get there. In our conversation, Jane shares how she did this and the strategy she employed. In simple terms, where am I, where do I want to get and what skills do I need to get me there? She talks through the steps she took to help answer each of those questions and how she proactively set about putting herself out there and making it happen. If it’s something you’d like to achieve in your own career, we hope that hearing Jane's story and understanding the approach she took will give you some ideas and a strategy you can implement for yourself.
In this episode Emma is joined by Nevena Spirovska to talk about Communications and Advocacy in the public sector and what she’s learnt on her career journey to date.We get insights into her time working in Politics, firstly as a Campaign Director for her candidate and subsequently as their Communications and strategy Manager. Her take on how she approached reactive and proactive comms, how much control you could have over the narrative and how she dealt with the occasional crisis situation she faced. We also talk about her time as the Public Affairs Manager for the Victorian County Court during the George Pell trial, and what she learnt from it. Nevena now spends her time working in the not for profit sector whilst also investing time in advocacy and volunteering.We also talk more broadly about purpose based work and how other people might bring that sense of meaning into their own work or lives.This was a fascinating conversation with someone who has packed an incredibly diverse range of experiences into their career thus far. A huge thank you to Nevena for taking the time to chat with me and share her experience.
Emma is joined by Customologist Mark James. Customology is a mix of technology, science, and marketing which enables businesses to create customers for life. With reference to 'the unspoken customer' report (see link below) what do your customers really think?We talk about the current 'trust crisis' that many brands are experiencing and what can be done to combat this. How customers really feel about the number of emails they are receiving from brands, and how a lack of genuine personalisation (beyond just using your name) is impacting this. How do customers feel about communications through other channels in comparison?How do customers actually think about value, and what are the elements which go into it?  The role of loyalty and paths to repurchasing.This is such a rich topic, we could have spoken about it for hours! Hopefully, the points we chose will resonate and give you some ideas.If you'd like to read the full report, it can be downloaded at:
In this episode, Emma is joined by Michelle Newell, storyteller, writer and workshop host.Michelle started her career teaching English literature, before moving into the corporate world in communications roles and ultimately turning her passion for human-led content into her own business. ( Michelle starts by talking us through her own career history, perfectly demonstrating how important and impactful storytelling is. From here we talk through what a 'story' is and isn't and Michelle gives practical tips on how to craft your own story.Michelle is passionate about the crucial role that storytelling plays in employee engagement and EVP more broadly. We talk through what EVP is and how using stories leads to much more meaningful content and engagement. Again, Michelle gives practical tips on how to go about this and the types of stories you can tell.In a time when 'storytelling' has become a bit of a buzzword, it was great to get context and a more practical understanding of what it actually means, and how to do it in the most effective way.A huge thank you to Michelle for sharing her time and experience. Enjoy! 
Emma is joined by Rachel whose career has covered senior leadership positions in both agencies and client side,  more recently with SaaS products in the digital/technology space.The conversation starts off talking about leadership more broadly and then talks about leadership in Marketing more specifically.Did Rachel always set out to develop into leadership roles, and if so how did she do this?At the start of your career when you don't have as much experience, how do you take your development into your own hands?As a leader how do you raise the profile of marketing within the organisation and why is this important?Why do you think that historically we’ve seen so few Marketers go on to become CEO’s? Do you see this changing in the future?How do you continue to develop yourself, what tools do you use?Rachel also talks about how she used to separate 'work me' from 'private me' and how becoming more authentically herself at work has benefitted her leadership skills.We love talking about leadership on the podcast, and love hearing from different guests about how they have approached their own journeys. So thank you to Rachel for being open and honest and sharing her experiences with us.We hope you enjoy the episode :) 
Emma is joined by Catherine Toms, who has spent over 20 years as a senior commercial digital & marketing leader – both agency and in-house. Working with some of the world’s biggest brands including Danone, BP, Tesco and Twitter to help them become more data-driven, customer-centric and digital-first. Catherine now works to help up skill digital, marketing and sales teams and deliver tangible results as one of half of The Toms ( if Marketers have a problem with Marketing themselves, may seem slightly counter-intuitive. But as Catherine discusses, the changing face of Marketing has led to a large number of businesses not actually understanding the breadth of what Marketing can now do. Marketing has never been more commercially focused, more aligned with business strategy and more of a revenue generator.Catherine talks us through what can be done to help educate the wider business. How do you bring your Exec leaders along on that journey?  What part does the language you use play in this?We also discuss if digital and the subsequent data it produces has actually been a double edged sword when it comes to more long term Marketing. Catherine also has some advice on how to combat this.A thought-provoking, insightful and highly practical episode. A huge thank to Catherine for taking the time to come on the podcast and share her experience and advice. 
In this episode, Emma is joined by Barbara Pesel, Managing Director of Pesel & Carr a strategic communications agency. more than 30 years experience Barbara is a strategic communications expert whose bread and butter is designing effective communications programs and helping companies who are either predicting – or experiencing! – a communications crisis.Barbara shares a wealth of knowledge during this conversation, starting with her approach to strategic communications and why communications professionals should always part be of the leadership team.We talk in depth about crisis communication and reputation management, Barbara shares advice on how best to prepare, what to do, and what not to do, during a crisis event. We talk about some specific real world examples to give context to the theory, and Barbara shares her thoughts on where they went wrong.I was also really interested to hear Barbara's thoughts on the rise of AI in communications, as someone who has built her career in the space, does she see a place for and value in AI?A huge thank you to Barbara for sharing her knowledge and experience on the podcast, I think I could have talked to her all day!I hope you enjoy the episode :) 
Emma is joined in this episode by Sean Withford who is the founder of Eloquent Digital Marketing Agency, and more recently the founder of Neuromarketing Labs.Sean talks us through his career, including being one of the very early employees at LinkedIn and what drove him to start his own marketing agency, before we move on to talking about all things 'neuromarketing'.What is neuromarketing, what problem does it solve, and how does it work? How is it different from market research and behavioural marketing?Sean talks us through the different processes and applications, what they are measuring and how they can be used to inform decision making.  We also touch on the cost implications, what type of investment is required and what are the benefits.Who is using neuromarketing, and what type of clients are seeing benefits from it?A really 'interesting conversation' and a really interesting field!If you'd like more information please feel free to reach out to Sean at Eloquent either via LinkedIn or
So many people are currently talking about wanting to move into the ‘for purpose’ space, it’s probably the number one thing that people say when we ask them what they are looking for in their next role. So the timing of this episode is perfect.Emma is joined by David Boyles a Marketer who started his career in Agency in London, before moving to Sydney and ultimately going client side.  For him moving to a ‘for purpose’ organisation was very important and we wanted to understand if it had lived up to the hype, and whether as a Marketer he approached the brand differently.We talk about David’s early career, and what working in an Agency taught him.His move to Sydney and looking for a purpose in his workJoining a start-up in the disability services space when they had only 30 employees.Growing and scaling with that business to over 400 employees and becoming Head of Brand.As a marketer how to approach a for-purpose brand, and more specifically a disability services brand.The role of profit in for purposeWhat are the challenges of working with a for-purpose brand and what did he learn along the way.David is very insightful and open about his own career journey, and what he’s learned along the way.  He continues to work in the for purpose space, having moved to Melbourne and joined another disability services business. For all those thinking of wanting to find more purpose and meaning in their work, we hope this episode is helpful.
To finish the year we decided to do something slightly different. In this episode, Ez & Em look back over all the episodes in 2022, and talk through one key learning we took away from each of our guests.We have had such a diverse range of guests, talking across our topics of business, marketing, thought leadership and careers. A huge thanks to all for sharing their time and experiences with us and our audience. There are a number of themes which come through, taking ownership of your career, taking personal responsibility for outcomes, that there is no one pathway to success, don't be afraid to try new things and the power of personal reflection.We have loved having these conversations and have taken so much from them, we hope you have enjoyed listening. Here's to a great 2023.Ez & Em
In this weeks episode we are joined by the amazing Cris Parker, who works in the area of ethics within both the banking and finance sector and business more broadly. Cris and Ez chat about ethics, and how to ensure ethics are weaved into your business and part of your every day. Cris is a driving force behind two of Australia’s most profound initiatives working to bring ethics into everyday professional life. She is Head of The Ethics Alliance, a community of organisations of every size, type, and sector that are connected through The Ethics Centre to collaboratively shape the future of business with ethics. To contact Cris, please head to
In this episode, Emma is joined by James Williamson a Communications professional who has spent his career building brands primarily in the Financial Services space.  James has worked with global brands like Goldman Sachs, Invesco, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley. In Australian brands like Aware Super and Vic Super. And in smaller companies and not-for-profits like JMB Foundation. He now runs his own business ceteris communications.James is particularly interested in the part technology has to play in Marketing, and particularly the use of AI and how it can be successfully used to amplify brands.We talk a little about the history of AI and what it means.Why are some people fearful of AI and where does that come fromHow is AI already being used in everyday applicationsHow do you use AI in your comms in a meaningful wayWhat part can AI play versus a communications professionalHow to balance AI with brand storytellingSuch an interesting topic and conversation, we hope you enjoy the episode. If you would like to reach out to James directly he can be reached via
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